I am not a big proponent of Valentine’s Day. I am not a big fan of holidays in general for that matter. It just seems that we, as a culture, take great ideas and over think them to the point that we destroy all the fun in them. Look at Sundays for instance – a day of rest. We have found a way to make it the most stressful day of the week in one way or another. For those of the believing persuasion, it is a day of heightened expectation and rushing, for those that are of the unbelieving persuasion, it is a day of lowered expectation and grousing that everything is closed.
Don’t even get me started on Christmas or Super Bowl Sunday.
But out of all of them, Valentine’s Day is probably the worst because fully half of the population loves it, and the other half hates it, and everyone dreads it.
Anyway, enough ranting, let’s see some videos in no particular order.
A year or so ago I started doing this as an exercise to play around on the edges of politics and current events and to see how long I could keep it up. The rules for myself were relatively simple: Only stills from Star Trek: TOS were to be used.
I spent way too much time doom scrolling Google Images for brain fodder and eventually ran out of steam. I probably could have been able to maintain momentum on it longer if I had started rewatching the series and did the screengrabs myself. But, regardless, politics is exhausting…
Anyway, welcome to the Federation Elections of 2270.
I love covers. At the height of the Napster Age I had more than 2000 Beatles covers in my digital collection. It is much less now, because of poor back-up skills which I still possess to this day. What I really love is when an artist is able to cover a familiar song, retain that original sense, but still make it their own in some unique and interesting way. They need to cover the song, but also add some personality so it can stand apart. Like when Earth, Wind and Fire covered Got To Get You Into My Life — a Beatles cover that I would argue is easily much better than the original.
I just have a strong belief that if a musician can take someone else’s song and make it something different, then that is real craft and art. Having said that, these are the artists that not only do that, they shake the paradigm up a bit in the process. Conceptually funny doesn’t hurt much, either.
(originaly from 2014)
All film criticism is subjective. We all watch movies from different places and experiences. What is meaningful to one person isn’t necessarily meaningful to another. Except “Shogun Assassin”, we all come out of that movie feeling the same way — exhausted, a bit freaked out, but also excited about the baby cart that shoots daggers.
That is why I came up with the Perfect Movie/Perfect Film grading system. In it, I posit that there are two kinds of cinema — a movie and a film. A movie is the turn off the brain, just go along for the ride type of entertainment. A film is the engage the brain, invest yourself in the craft and art type of theater experience.
Cognitive Bias is a pernicious evil from which we will never be able to escape. Mainly because it is just a natural by-product of cognition and is built into the human machine that we are. Think of it as the Top Stories Algorithm of the brain. And there are so many types. Even if we could erase the big ones, there are still tons of little ones. They are like weeds – they just grow back more gnarly and unforving than before. Just look at our national political discourse for evidence.
And as more types of Bias are identified, it is important that you are aware of them. To at least fight their grasping entangling tangles of graspers.
Here are some types that you probably have never heard of, but which your close friends say you are suffering from right now.
Have you ever gotten that weird feeling of displacement when you meet a recent immigrant from another country and they are working a service level job and then you find out that they were like a scientist or doctor in their old life? They tell you that they came here to have a fresh start for their families, but find out that they have to start all over again and work their way back up?
I get those feelings all of the time (and fully expect it to happen to me next) and then I can’t help but imagine what that old life was like. This is what goes through my mind when I meet recently arrived people from Russia.
I blame Hollywood.
What a year, amirite? The kinda year that makes you rethink what you believe.
Anyways, here are roughly five random-ish things I have been thinking as we draw this trip around the sun to a close.
Like most of you, I love superhero stuff. I see all the big budget, big screen movies, and I give all the small screen TV shows the old college try. But I also love the online stuff.
And if it is funny, even better. So, in that spirit, here are five of my favorite online video type shorts. With Superheroes!!
The 80s invented the Music Video. Sure there were music videos earlier than that, in different forms, but the 80s collated them and made them a thing. And then the videos not only killed the Radio Stars. They murdered them. Publicly. And left their bodies in the public square on display.
They were ill advised murders, because the majority of music videos of the time were unequivocally terrrible. But that didn’t keep those videos from digging down into our youthful brains and implanting themselves like those earwig monsters from Star Trek: Wrath of Khan.
And they are still there. Here are my top 5 favorite terrible music videos from the 80s. In no particular order.
It has been a very long year, and it is almost Christmas. Let’s take a moment and give thanks for a wonderful piece of public domain literature that doesn’t know how to stop giving.
Charles Dickens had no idea what he was creating at a farthing per word. Nor that he would feed undeserving families for what is approaching two centuries. So without further ado, here are my favorite adaptations of his classic, A Christmas Carol.